Lera - T Lovers
The first of The Saiki Zine series, we introduce Lera the founder of T Lovers. She holds tea ceremonies, tours, workshops and walks that guide curious minds into the world of tea. Lera gives us a wonderfully honest, educational and frank insight into her journey with tea and how it can help us through mind, body and spirit.
How did you find your passion for tea ceremonies?
I was always interested in inner transformation, awakening. How to bring more peace into our lives and have a deep meaningful intimate experience of life, of being. I feel that this is what everyone ultimately craves for underneath all those other desires that we have. When I started my journey in Tea I initially started with doing tea tours and tea tastings in London - which was more informational and recreational. But I always felt something was missing here. Something more deep that Tea can provide. That's when I met Global Tea Hut community and tea school, that linked Tea to meditation, to Zen, to spiritual growth, and that's when I started seeing Tea Ceremonies from a different perspective. I started seeing Tea and the Way, than just merely a drink that we have for entertainment.
What are the benefits of tea ceremonies?
Firstly, Tea as a plant itself has benefits - it has caffeine and the component unique to only Tea - amino acid called L-Theanine. It's known for inducing alpha waves in our brain and for releasing dopamine, causing relaxation without drowsiness. So we have the best of both worlds - energy and focus from caffeine, while being relaxed and less stressed.
Secondly, Tea Ceremony has an ability to bring peace into our lives by taking us from our heads, from our thoughts to the heart, to the body. And how does it do it? By engaging all our senses at the same time and really savouring each moment. Can we taste, smell, see, hear, feel - all at the same time? When we do, then, as spiritual teacher Adyashanti said - another sense is created - a sense of the Heart. Awakening of the Heart. When we are able to do do that, then we are able to have a direct experience of Life, direct experience of being - rather than through filters of the mind such as concepts, ideas, beliefs. And through that there is less separation from life and others, and there is a deep and intimate experience of life itself. Ultimately, that's what we all really crave for - this feeling of intimacy with life. And in that intimate and deep experience there is peace and love.
In what way is tea and energy healing aligned?
Tea heals on so many levels - Mind, Body and Spirit. It connects us to to the Being part of the Human Being too - which is so important. Energy Healing is great for also removing conditioning that stops us from living more fulfilled and happy lives.
What is vortex healing?
Vortex Healing is a path of healing and awakening using Divine as its source. Healing our human side from all the conditioning that we accumulated from childhood and past lives, and awakening to our true nature - consciousness, Spirit, God, Love - everybody calls it different names. These are two separate processes even though some believe its the same. You can be a very fucked up person but enlightened, or a saint on a human level yet not awakened. And although one can influence another in a big way, they are not necessarily one and the same.
In Vortex Healing we believe that everything one and everything in this life is a beautiful expression of Divinity. Everything. Yet, because we have lost the awareness of that, we see life and creation through separation - seeing ourselves as separate beings, separate from others and life and God. This creates all kind of issues and false identities, which imprint every single facet of our bodies and emotions. This conditioning is extremely deep and it distorts our experience of being a human. It creates emotional issues, blockages in our human energy system, leading to physical issues too, creating struggle and suffering. And the negative experiences we have as a result deepen that suffering even more. Vortex Healing works on this human level releasing the conditioning on all levels returning a person to the state of health and happiness. But it also realises that true healing requires wholeness, waking up to who we truly are, waking out of the separateness. So another side of Vortex Healing is this awakening process.
interview continued below…
What has been your biggest learning from when you were working in the city to where you are now with t-lovers?
I have to say that when I started doing tea business I realised how many blocks I have - I was afraid of public speaking, I was not feeling good enough, not worthy of success, a phony, I cared too much about what people think of me, and was extremely scared of criticism. It was and still is a huge journey for me to feel worthy, professional, to feel confident. Partly it was due to acquiring knowledge and experience. After all, I started tea business from zero. But a huge part was working on my inner issues, like self-doubt, lack of self-love and confidence, not thinking I am good enough. This journey continues, sometimes its hard, Vortex Healing is an incredible help in this process. And I find seeing the process of me stepping into my power incredibly fascinating and mesmerising.
Which workshop or event would you recommend for someone who is new to tea ceremonies?
I would recommend coming to a one hour tea ceremony on Monday either at Re:Mind studio in Belgravia at 8pm, or Lifespace in Notting Hill at 1pm. I also hold New and Full Moon Tea Ceremonies for women twice a month, and these are incredibly beautiful and deep and intense, so women could come to those too.
What is your favorite ritual?
My favourite ritual is obviously a Tea Ceremony!
Do you have any other wellness practices that you include in your personal routine?
Every morning I do Oil Pulling for twenty minutes - swirling coconuts oil in my mouth and then spitting it out. It does remove the toxins and since I have been doing it I was only sick once or twice - and both coincided with emotional healings and huge realisations and insights and shifts. My mum used to be sick several times a year before, and now, since she has been doing it, she rarely gets sick - a huge shift for someone who was always got colds before.
I don't have wellness practices as such apart from daily meditation - once or twice a day, and plenty of me time, slow time, time and space to just do nothing. Sometimes maybe too much of that! But I find it helps so much. Tea taught be to be sensitive to my needs and listening to those is my main wellness practice.
You can stay up to date and follow Lera on Instagram @withtlovers or check out the website for further information on Lera’s offerings.